BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Public attitudes to the sentencing of drug offences

    Kirby, Amy and Jacobson, Jessica (2014) Public attitudes to the sentencing of drug offences. Criminology & Criminal Justice 14 (3), pp. 334-350. ISSN 1748-8958.

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    This article presents the findings of focus group research into public attitudes to the sentencing of drug offences. The study was commissioned by the Sentencing Council for England and Wales to inform the development of their new guideline on drug offences. There were two main findings: first, participants’ responses were generally no more punitive than current sentencing practice for less serious offences; second, participants’ overriding concerns were about the harms associated with drug offences rather than the culpability of drug offenders. Thus the findings of the study indicate that lighter sentences for drug ‘mules’ (as were subsequently introduced by the Sentencing Council’s new guideline) would be tolerated by the public. However, if the Council wishes to engage more fully with public opinion it will need to take a closer look at public concerns with harm.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Drug offences, focus groups, public engagement, sentencing, Sentencing Council
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2018 14:11
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:42


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